The feature on this afternoon’s card at Thurles is the Grade 2 Michael Purcell Memorial and the very promising Our Duke can follow up his maiden hurdle victory. Jessica Harrington’s six-year-old looked really smart when running away with a bumper which has worked out quite well, and then lost little in defeat behind Death Duty in another race which has had its form franked.
On his hurdling debut he proved too smart for the smart Pylonthepressure, and looks just the type to progress with experience. This is a considerable step up in class, but it’s far from insurmountable, and he is preferred to Acapella Bourgeois.
David O’Brien’s Freeway Space should take beating in the mares’ bumper.
Winner of a point to point at Ballindenisk, at the third time of asking, she made a most encouraging track debut when running the very promising Avellino to half a length.
After leading for a long way, she looked beaten turning for home but stuck to her task in good style to deny Good Thyne Tara the runner-up spot. That race was much stronger than this and a repeat performance ought to be good enough.
Uranna may be a touch frustrating to follow but she looks to have been found a perfect opportunity to get off the mark over fences in the opening race.
She will be priced accordingly, as a solid round of jumping should suffice.
Last time out she travelled and jumped well until making a blunder at the second-last, and that immediately put her on the back foot. She failed to recover well enou
gh to trouble Carrigmoorna Rock, but the winner was a smart sort and a repeat of that effort would surely be good enough here.
Mullins should also be on the mark with Tennis Cap, in the two-mile-two rated chase.
The nine-year-old put in an improved performance last time out over course and distance and, while not best treated by the conditions of the race, his liking for the testing surface earns him preference.
Well beaten behind Smashing on his seasonal debut, in November, and similarly well beaten behind Nearly Nama’d in early January, he reversed form with the latter and got much closer to the former when runner-up in a decent race here last time.
That effort suggested his return to winning ways was not far away and, with a little further improvement, this should be his day.
Sizing Platinum is most favourably treated by the race conditions, but the going is a concern.
He is also returning after an absence and may be better for the run.
For those reasons Lord Scoundrel may be the one to give Tennis Cap most to think about.
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